Alarms and Security

Medical Alarm Services

Medical alarms are highly recommended for anyone with frailty and medical conditions - especially for people who live by themselves. A large number of users have their alarm systems paid for by a Disability Allowance through Work and Income, however occasionally funding can also be accessed via ACC and Veterans.

Most systems operate by having a button either as a pendant (worn around the neck) or a wristband (similar to a watch). When the button is pressed a device attached to the telephone is activated and the control room receives a signal. Operators will generally call you to determine if the system has been set off accidentally or not, and if they do not receive a reply they will often phone people on a list that you have previously supplied. Most people will list immediate relatives, neighbours or friends who would be able to respond quickly.

In saying this each alarm company is different and the way they are set up is there to meet a consumer need, so in most cases you will be able to find a company that offers you the solution you want.

The use of Medical Alarms has increased dramatically in the last few years. The users have a much greater feeling of security, knowing they can summon immediate help, should they have a medical emergency, a fall, or ever suspect they have an intruder.

The alarms may be included under the Disability Allowance accessed via Work and Income. Your Doctor will need to identify the need, and sign a form to explain that the alarm is essential, and that the need is ongoing. WINZ can supply both forms. There are a variety of systems on the market. However there are only a select few companies that receive government funding. Most funded alarm companies will assist you with all the application forms, Doctors forms required etc.

If you are not eligible for funding you can an alarm company of their choice and choose to pay privately. The cost of this can range from $12 – 20 per week.

See Work and Income for information on assistance.


Security is often a big worry for older people and their families especially those living alone.

In addition to the Medical/ Personal Alarm systems, there are a variety of other security services available in most areas and there are some excellent security systems available. Below is a list of suggestions:

  • Get to know your neighbours.
  • Arrange for good quality locks to be fitted.
  • Secure stays can be fitted to windows that open for ventilation.
  • Double hung window sashes can be locked together by a bar which fits through both sashes.
  • A stout dowel dropped into a ranch slider track prevents the door from being jemmied open.

Security Systems

Security Systems usually consist of:

  • Infra-red detectors which detect body heat and movement and/or magnetic contact switches on doors and windows.
  • A keypad so the householder can arm or disarm the system.
  • Usually internal and external sirens.

It is vital to ensure that the system is not repeatedly set off as a false alarm, otherwise neighbours etc. fail to respond.

Some systems can be connected via telephone line to a monitoring company, but these are considerably more expensive.


The entry point for a professional system is about $1000.00 ... or up from there for a good professional system installation.